Real Madrid’s all-Italian journey to sign their new manager
By Daphne Seberich
Real Madrid was in desperate need of a new manager. Zinedine Zidane’s premature departure announced on May 27th, 2021 has left Florentino Pérez without a plan for the future of the most successful football team in the world. Massimiliano Allegri, Antonio Conte, and Carlo Ancelotti are Real Madrid’s top choices to replace the Frenchman.
The breakup between the two sides was already asked for by the fans after the embarrassing defeat against CD Alcoyano in the Copa Del Rey match played on January 20th, 2021. #ZizOut was a trending topic on Twitter. Florentino, as reported by Marca, was already in contact by then with his number one choice: Massimiliano Allegri.
The two parties were in close contact throughout the whole second half of the season. The Italian manager has brought Juve to international success during his four years at the ‘Vecchia Signora’, reaching two times the Champions League final – one lost against Real Madrid. Even though he was one of the main reasons for Juve’s success in Italy, the club’s management decided to drop the manager after four years of dominance with the team.
Allegri was about to sign with Real Madrid, with major news outlets confirming the Italian as the chosen one by Florentino Pérez to take over the Merengues. Little did Florentino know that his Superleague ally Andrea Agnelli was negotiating to have his beloved Max back at the ‘Vecchia Signora’.
On the day of Zinedine Zidane’s announcement to part ways with the 13-time champions one year prior to the end of his contract in 2022, shocking news arrived from Italy: Allegri was moving back to Turin.
There was not just bad news coming from Italy for Real Madrid’s president. Just one day prior to the shocking announcement, another surprise breakup came from Milan’s black-and-blue side. Antonio Conte, the manager that ended Juventus’ nine-year dominance and brought Inter to success after eleven seasons, parted ways with the ‘Nerazzurri’ after only two together. The win of the coveted ‘Scudetto’ was not enough to convince Conte to stay in Milan for another year.
Conte was previously linked to Real Madrid in 2018, but Lopetegui was preferred to the Italian manager. Captain Sergio Ramos spoke out against Conte’s arrival, as the Apulian manager is famous for being a tough man to work with. His methods, although being harsh at times, are the key to his success as a trainer. Conte knows how to win. Every club he managed has won trophies under his management.
Real Madrid needed Conte now more than ever. After the low-blow move by Agnelli and Allegri, Conte seems to be the best fit for a team in desperate need to be revamped and redesigned.
The Apulian, according to Don Balon, has four requests for Florentino Pérez: N’Golo Kanté, Lautaro Martinez, Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku.
The latter has been a key player at Inter and has a great bond with Conte. Inter, who is in a critical financial situation due to Covid, might consider selling Big Rom to Los Blancos. If Florentino could have secured those four names for the next season, the Apulian would have been ready to sign a two-year deal with the Madridistas.
Real Madrid and Conte’s ex-team played against each other in the group stage of the 2020/2021 Champions League campaign. How did Conte do against Los Blancos during their encounter in Milan?
The first minutes of the match would indicate a high-paced, high-intensity game. The Blancos were putting a lot of pressure right from the get-go with multiple threatening attempts in the first seven minutes. Inter fought back with Nicolò Barella, Lautaro, and Arturo Vidal, who all missed the target.
The ‘Nerazzurri’ saw Karim Benzema opening the scoresheet for Real Madrid on the 25th minute of the match. The Frenchman stood alone in front of Samir Handanovič, who was well outside his penalty area, with only Inter’s empty goal ahead.
Sergio Ramos, served from a corner shot by the German Toni Kroos, made it 2-0 for the Madridistas and hit the back of the net with a header in the 33rd minute of the match. The advantage didn’t last too long as Inter bounced back with an incredible Lautaro kicking the ball into Thibaut Courtois’s left-bottom corner of his goal.
Ivan Perišić revived and rekindled Inter at the 68th minute of the game with a brilliant goal that tied the two teams. Newly-entered Rodrygo Goes, although, sealed the deal for Real at the 80th minute of the game.
Even though Conte did not beat Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage, he still has done a great job with Inter during the 2020/2021 season.
Finally, Real Madrid opted to rekindle an old flame. Carlo Ancelotti, who has bounced to the top of Florentino’s list on Tuesday is joining the Blancos after six years of absence. During his two seasons at the Madrid-based club, the Italian’s major achievement was the ‘Decima’, the tenth Champions League victory in Lisbon for Real Madrid. He is also the Real Madrid manager who has recorded the highest percentage of wins (78%) in his first 100 games at the club.
Real Madrid fans are excited to see what’s next in store for the club. Can Carlo Ancelotti bring the Madridistas back to success?